Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology
Senior Deputy Director for Basic Sciences, Moores Cancer Center
School of Medicine, University of California San Diego
San Diego, California,
USA / Italy
Professor Napoleone Ferrara earned his M.D. from the University of Catania in Italy and completed an internship at Oregon Health & Science University, USA. During his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in the United States of America, Prof. Ferrara conducted a research in Reproductive Endocrinology and Cancer.
Prof. Ferrara discovered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the identification and purification of VEGF as a potent mitogen specifically for vascular endothelial cells. His laboratory has conducted extensive researches into VEGF’s biochemistry, molecular biology, its receptors, and the mechanisms of VEGF-induced angiogenesis, particularly in normal and pathological conditions, such as cancer and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Prof. Ferrara’s research has resulted in the development of the anti-VEGF antibody, Bevacizumab, which is used in the treatment of highly vascularized and aggressive cancers.
His pioneer work included the development of the anti-VEGF Fab fragment known as Ranibizumab, and the scientific breakthrough has significantly improved the quality of life for many AMD patients, especially in an aging society.
The Laureate’s contributions to VEGF and anti-VEGF therapy have led to the worldwide use of anti-VEGF drugs and benefited millions of patients around the world.